Not enough time. Heart pummeling, legs racing too fast, her bare feet slipped in the oozing muck. She jutted both arms out and caught her fall on her elbows. Up in an instant, weaving around an abandoned campfire, she dodged the wind-toppled branches from a recent storm.
Too absorbed in her terror, she allowed herself one gasping breath and made the mistake of glancing behind.
Sir Roland had an implacable look of determination on his misshapen face. His gratified stare back at her, as though this were a sport he knew he would win, froze the blood in her veins. A few more feet and she would reach her mother. The warm breath of the knight’s horse heated the back of her neck. Closer, fingers of both hands extended, she grasped the edge of her mother’s folded blanket. “Daj!” she cried. Sir Roland wrenched her hands away, his laugh wild. His brawny arms yanked her up onto his horse in front of him.
Valentina swung around and dug her long nails across his rough face, his twisted mouth. Still riding, he grunted and swore, jerked a piece of rope from his saddle, and securely tied her wrists. They rode out of the caravan and galloped into the darkness. One last campfire flickered off the canopies of the trees; the air soon lost its hint of pine and brandy.


  1. Mona Risk // October 10, 2007 at 11:04 PM  


    Every time I read this I like it more.


  2. NIna Nash // October 11, 2007 at 8:13 AM  

    What a great excerpt! It leaves me wanting more. :)

  3. Mary Marvella // October 14, 2007 at 2:06 AM  

    Wow, how will she escape? Hero or villain. Good teaser.